November 2014

Found 40 blog entries for November 2014.

De-cluttering should be the first step in getting the interior of your house “show-ready.”

Your aim will be to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that has been de-personalized, so that other people can visualize it as their own. In addition, you want to create the impression that you have more than enough space.

Start by looking at your furniture and the traffic patterns throughout the house. If there are bottle-necks or if any room feels crowded or cramped, put some furniture in storage. When you have a little “empty space” your home will instantly look larger.  

Next, remove all the extra “stuff” you have sitting around. Clean the kitchen counter-tops, leaving only the appliances you use daily – perhaps the toaster and a coffee pot. Take all

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The first impression potential buyers get when they drive up in front of a house sets the tone for the entire showing – and actually affects what they’ll see when they go inside.

If the exterior is well maintained and attractive, buyers will expect to see an attractive, well-maintained interior as well. As a result, they might not notice small imperfections.

On the other hand, if the exterior looks run down, they’ll notice every flaw inside the house even if it’s clean, freshly painted, and well maintained. That is, if they go inside at all. I’ve been with buyers who took one look at a home’s exterior and refused to go in.

So the first step in preparing a house for sale is to create the “curb appeal.” Fix-up, paint-up, and clean up – so the first

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Once you’ve made the decision to sell and settled on a fair market price for the home, it’s time for both you and your agent to get busy bringing it to market.

Your agent’s job is to prepare and distribute the marketing materials and yours is to prepare the house.

One of the steps in marketing is to post photos and descriptions on line. Today,  85% of all buyers begin their search on the Internet, so a serious seller can’t afford to skip this step. Pictures and their descriptions can either create a desire to see the home in person – or cause those buyers to skip over it entirely.  

That means the photos must present your home at it’s best – inside and out. As an agent, my job is to get the angles and lighting right. Your job as a seller is to be

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Did you know that you can double your exposure to individuals searching for homes by using one simple pricing method?

This simple method is to list at a price that ends in 0 or 5.

Why? Because buyers search for homes that way. They type in numbers such as: $200,000 to $250,000 or $250,000 to $300,000. When your price is $250,000 you’ll be seen by buyers in both price categories.

On the other hand, when a home is priced at $249,000 or $251,000 it will be seen by buyers searching in only one price category.

If you’d like to know what your home’s market value is in today’s market, give me a call. I’ll be happy to prepare a current market analysis for

P.S. Tomorrow we’ll move on to presentation…

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Your agent helps you by compiling a market analysis. This compares your home to the most recent sales of homes that are similar in location, size, amenities, and condition. Then, to evaluate your competition, it shows the comparison to similar homes that are currently for sale.

Because the market is changing so rapidly today, a price that might have worked a few months ago could be all wrong today.  

I’d be happy to prepare a no-obligation market analysis of your home, to let you know its correct price in today’s market. Just give me a call at 858-342-9292 or write at

And, since knowledge is power, I’d also be happy to arrange for you to see some of the homes that will be your competition.

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about a

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If you’re thinking of selling, you may be wondering what you and your agent can do to make your house sell quickly.

You see houses come on the market and sell almost instantly while others sit there for months and eventually expire off the market unsold. Why?

Usually, it has to do with the balance between what I call the three pieces of the real estate sales puzzle.

Those pieces are price, presentation, and marketing – and they all need to fit together to bring about a successful sale. However, there are some other factors, such as negotiation and follow-up, that do play a part.

If you’re thinking of selling, I’d be happy to talk with you about how to make those puzzle pieces fit to result in a quick sale. Just give me a call at 858-342-9292

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If you've been following the steps, you're almost ready to begin marketing your home. But before you do, become familiar with the laws that govern real estate advertising. The last thing you need right now is a lawsuit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Laws say that you must not discriminate against anyone.

Considering what you hear in the news every day, you probably know that your advertisements can't contain any kind of references to race or national origin. But realize that people sue for discrimination about other factors as well.

Discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, familial status, religion, disabilities, and age are all prohibited. So while you may think yours is the perfect home for a large family,

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Real estate and automobiles are two items that Americans like to bargain over, even while we pay the asking price for almost everything else. Some people feel that if they don't get some kind of price reduction or concession from the seller, they've been cheated.

With that in mind, your listing price should include a small margin for negotiation. But it must be small. If you list high and expect to negotiate a drastically lower price, you'll miss the buyers in your correct price range and the buyers in the incorrect price range won't be interested enough to bargain.

That said, the first step in successful negotiations is to price the house correctly in the beginning. This, combined with the knowledge that I'll let you know if market conditions

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What your prospective buyers see when they drive up in front of your house can actually determine what they will see when they get inside.

That may sound strange, but we humans are strange. There's no getting away from it. Our brains pick out what we're expecting to see and often ignore that which we don't expect.

Thus, when a buyer arrives in front of your house and sees the lawn neatly mowed, the flower beds weeded and sporting fresh mulch, and the front door freshly painted, he expects to see "clean, attractive, and well-maintained" when he gets inside. His initial impression of "This is nice" will carry through and he'll automatically pick out all the "nice" features inside.

On the other hand, if the gate is hanging by one hinge, the fence

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Right now you're probably feeling frustrated, depressed, and maybe just a bit angry. You listed your home expecting it to be sold and expecting to be on your way to a new home or a new adventure by now.

Instead, you watched your home expire off the market unsold.

What happened? Why isn't it sold?

One of three vital factors was somehow "off." Even in a market that has a year's worth of inventory, a home will sell in a reasonable amount of time if the following three elements are done correctly:

  • Price
  • Presentation
  • Marketing

Your agent should have advised you about the proper price for your home in today's market. Unfortunately, some agents are afraid to tell you the truth about pricing, because the market is down and they know

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